Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in SpainSpanish politics
- Things are tense in Cataluña, it says here.
- A British adventurer bound for America has set sail from Tunisia in a replica Phoenician vessel, attempting to prove the ancient seafaring nation could have reached America 2,000 years before Christopher Columbus (Cristobál Colón). That won't do much good for the business based on the belief that Colón was born here in Poio. Essentially the museum dedicated to him, and providing poof of this belief.´
- In more modern times, there's reasons to be impressed by Spanish medical research.
- Headline re our region: Every day 3 shops close and 4 bars open.
- A second headline: Endogamy. on the campuses: More than half of the teaching staff work in he university where they did their thesis. I recall being told this 19 years ago and having ask what 'endogamy' was in this context.
- Having been surprised to see a dolphin in the river Lérez a few weeks ago, I was a bit blasé about catching sight of a cormorant in it last night. Despite the presence of many large fish in the river, the diving bird didn't seem to be having much luck. Murky waters?
- Historian Niall Ferguson: The key to Trump’s power is not the untrue things he says. It is the outrageous things he openly does — and gets away with. Thus far.
- Ferguson is not convinced that impeachment will bring Ffart down.
- My thanks to Belinda Beckett for the article below on modern expressions she hates. I imagine she's not alone.
- I'm driving to Santander today - in miserable weather - to catch an evening boat to Plymouth. I will write a post on the latter but whether the at-sea wifi will allow me to publish it is another matter.
- Meanwhile, I fear I will run foul of fog on the sky-high viaduct above Mondoñedo, a foreseeable problem on which millions are now being spent to counteract it. And to reduce the accidents. I will advise on the efficacy of the lasers, lit up barriers, etc. in due course.
Belinda Beckett reveals the jargon which makes her stomach turn
This month I’m ‘opening the kimono’ about my pet hate – people whose ‘narrative’ is peppered with buzzwords.
It may be state of the art and all that jazz but I am not loving the aesthetic and the bottom line is, I am no longer singing from the same hymn sheet as the rest of modern society.
Call me carbon-dated but I’ll never be able to get on the front foot with all the fancy phrases trotted off the tongues of today’s ‘influencers’.
They call it ‘disruptive’, I call it gobbledygook.
I have zero synergy with ‘blue sky’ and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking.
Spoken English has got to the stage where I no longer know where anyone’s ‘coming from’. Lapland or Botswana perhaps – it’s all Greek to me.
Do you hear what I’m saying? Of course not, this isn’t a podcast!
Taking a holistic approach, I blame everyone – the Americans, marketing geeks, SMOCs (Social Media Obsessive Compulsives, pronounced ‘schmucks’).
Having no monarch themselves, our friends across the Pond were never content to stick to ‘Queen’s English’, inventing ugly substitutes like bangs and fanny pack for hair fringe and bum bag.
And now, the effrontery of it, Donald Trump – the president with the vocabulary range of an embryo – has been allowed to add officially to the lexicon. ‘Fake news’, describing stories that say ‘very bad things’ about Donald Trump (IMHO) is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Some blame for the most irritating phrases in the English language date back to Ricky Gervais’ David Brent character in Noughties sitcom, The Office, which would now be called The Workplace.
‘The bard of Slough’, was a maestro of the mixed metaphor, expecting his staff to ‘run a few ideas up the flagpole’ while simultaneously ‘bedding them down’ in order to ‘fast-track a solution’ – and all before ‘doing lunch’. Shall I run that by you again?
Had Shakespeare himself been around today, he would be having a Twelfth Nightmare trying to fit sayings like ‘the feel-good-factor’ into a rhyming couplet.
They say that half the world’s 6,700 languages will be extinct by the end of this century while Americanised English is putting paid to dialects which would be a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions or, in the modern vernacular, a right bummer.
But even in the best-case scenario, if I’m honest, the optics aren’t good and without an exit strategy it could be a no-win situation.
All I ask is that next time you need to shift a paradigm, leverage a best practice or get your ducks in a row, just keep it to yourself.
Other phrases that don’t float my boat …
Reach Out – Please don’t. An email’s quite sufficient. We Brits don’t do touchy-feely with strangers
Giving 110% – No one can give more than 100% of themselves unless they have a clone
It is what it is – Thanks! (Idiot)
I hear what you’re saying – I’m just not listening
Going forward – Can’t, my nose would hit the computer screen
It’s not rocket science – How do you know?
Pushing the envelope – I prefer a knife opener
The fact of the matter is – I’m just a long-winded, pompous twit
Let’s touch base – How very dare you!
He’s such a woke dude – He’s socially aware, even when asleep